Is A French Connected-Car Player A Help Or Threat?


By Adam R Jacobson

The 2017 European Radio Show concluded today (1/31) in Paris, France, with RCS Sound Software perhaps the most recognizable sponsor to U.S. broadcasters in attendance at this three-day confab.

With sessions including “I am a female radio host” and “Interfaces in studios: Can we automize all?”, the event is the continental equivalent to the Radio Show that is set for Austin, Tex., in September.

Among the many vendors in attendance at the Paris confab is a French firm that is expanding into the U.S. that is pitching the integration of stations into the connected car.

While this sounds like a perfect opportunity for AM and FM stations that wish to ensure that they are accessible, this may be more of a threat to your TSL than another way to increase your ROI …  depending on your point of view.

That’s because RadioKing has built its brand on internet-only stations in Europe, with the pitch that “Pulse Motion Radio,” “Radio Clubb” and a wide range of online players can now be easily accessible via Android Auto — just as easy as tuning in Top 40 monster NRJ at 100.3 FM across Paris.

Even more, RadioKing allows users to create their own online radio station.

“Creating your radio station is now a piece of cake,” the RadioKing website reads. “In just 3 clicks, you could be the manager of your own radio station. RadioKing hosts more than 1,300 radio stations of all genres across the world.”

Correction: RadioKing hosts more than 1,300 internet-only offerings from across the world. Actual AM and FM stations are scarce — but RadioKing is adding partners. Radio FG, a Paris-based dance music station at 98.2 MHz, is one of its first over-the-air radio partners.

As more than 100 different car models are now equipped with Android Auto and CarPlay, the option to integrate smartphone apps with a car’s multimedia system has become a must-have feature for many U.S. car buyers.

Thus, understanding the evolution of the connected car also involves comprehension of the coming explosion of choices for your listeners.

RadioKing’s pitch is alluring.

“With your favorite station available at your fingertips, car journeys no longer have to be a bore,” the company’s promotional literature reads. “Connected to the internet via your mobile phone, the new application allows you to listen to your radio station anywhere in the world, to take advantage of multiple streams and to obtain information in real time regarding the current track.”

With Radio FG, access via Android Auto through RadioKing’s technology is an added point of connection for car drivers. It also extends the “signal” beyond the station’s Parisian contour.

For AMs in the U.S. and FMs with limited market coverage, such coming technology could prove beneficial.

How does RadioKing’s Radio Player connect stations to its platform? It has social media platform integration tools, as well as a mobile app solution.

In addition to interactive features like purchasing through iTunes and sharing on social networks, the Pro Radio Player also gives a station increased exposure on Facebook. “This allows your listeners to publish your radio station on their wall, along with a mini-player that plays your stream,” the company says.

Even more, stations can enhance their own Facebook page by adding a new tab that contains their station’s radio player.

RadioKing’s Android Auto app was tested Monday (1/30) at a morning workshop hosted by RadioKing CEO Maxime Piquette. It is set to be publicly available “as soon as developments for CarPlay have been completed.”

Once that happens, RadioKing’s Sunnyvale, Calif., office is set to hit the ground running, pitching all sorts of stations to sign on to its product.

Just remember that your station will be getting a call — along with an online player that just may be your newest competitor.